Wednesday, 22 July 2015

It's a very British habit.....

....to talk about the weather.  We like to complain if it's too hot, or too cold, or too wet.

The Turks don't seem to talk about it much.  They just get on with it.  They are used to the drastic climate changes and don't feel the need to discuss it.  But we have to talk about it endlessly.

Sometimes when I am out in the village and pass someone I say hello and how are you.  They respond accordingly.  I might add something like "It's very hot" or "It's very cold" and they just look at me as if I'm mad.  They nod and smile.  They humour me.   In winter we say "roll on summer".  In summer we say "roll on winter".   We never seem to be satisfied.

So...it's hot here at the moment.  Extremely hot and unbearable and I am finding it difficult to cope.  We have one air conditioning unit that is broken.  Two attempts have been made to fix it with no success.  I am stuck in a very hot house with a ceiling fan in the bedroom which just circulates the hot air.  I get up very early to clean out the dogs areas and half-heartedly do some housework, but by 7.30am I am hot and exhausted.  

I have tried sitting outside in the evening or early morning but over the past couple of days I have been bitten unmercifully by mosquitoes, so it's back inside the hothouse.  If I had a swimming pool (or  even a large paddling pool) I probably wouldn't feel so bad tempered.  

I envy those on holiday here who can sit by a pool, relax with a  cold drink, and take a dip to cool off.  It's very different living here.

So there we have it.   A whole blog post about the weather.   Roll on winter.


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Scandal

I did some posts a couple of years ago about scandal in villages...well this village in particular..and I thought about them again on Saturday when reading an article in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet

BLİND SPOT. The secret sex life of Turks

The murder of this little boy was shocking but I found it almost impossible to believe that the concern from those around seemed to be more about the fact that people were having sex in Ramazan during daylight hours.

The article says a lot about things that go on behind closed doors in the less educated parts of Turkey and it's very disturbing.  Even after living here for so long, some things still shock me.

Having mentioned my posts about scandal in our village, although of course not as shocking as the article above, I'll give you the links to them here, for those of you who are new to my blog.  My long term followers will no doubt remember them

A PEACEFUL VİLLAGE...DON'T YOU BELİEVE İT

A LİTTLE MORE SCANDAL FROM THE VİLLAGE

Interestingly, I caught the dolmuş into Milas yesterday.  It was hot and stuffy and when I got on there was only one seat left, next to the lady mentioned in the above post.  The dolmuş was filling up fast as it was market day in Milas, but even though several people got on before me, no-one sat next to this lady, so I did.

She greeted me as usual by name and we had a chat on the way to Milas.  All the while I was receiving "looks" from the other passengers...no doubt wondering whether I follow the same profession.    The prejudice and narrow-mindedness of village people really irritates me.  Sod the lot of them!


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Once a week......

...seems pretty much all I can manage when it comes to blogging these days.

It was my birthday last Tuesday.   They seem to come around rather too quickly for my liking, but this is really the first year that I have been aware of having to slow down a bit.  I have always been very active and often with the energy of someone much younger.  Even though my brain tells me that I can do absolutely anything, my body doesn't necessarily agree.

The day of my birthday was really a non-event.  I didn't see another person.  The first time in my life I have spent the day entirely alone.  I had had plans to go out with my friend Fleur, but we are in the middle of a heatwave.  It's just too hot for me to venture out, and a long way for Fleur to drive, so we have postponed our get together until later when the weather is cooler.

Mr A is still working flat out, although in recent weeks he was managing to get home most nights, and had moved all his clothes back to the house from the personnel accommodation.  His company car can only be used for his job (it has a GPS tracker) but his last port of call most days was a hotel in Gulluk, close enough for him to drive home.

This particular hotel has caused him so many problems.  Customers there seem to be what I call the professional complainers (those who complain from start to finish wherever they stay).  It's a cheap all-inclusive hotel, but seems to attract those who pay 2 star prices but expect 5 star treatment.  I'm not sure these people will ever accept that you only get what you pay for.

They are also not interested in buying excursions, the commission on which makes up the majority of Mr A's earnings.

It reached a point last weekend where Mr A had had enough.  Expecting him to rush through so many hotels from 8am onwards, arriving at the Gulluk hotel around 8pm and then being stuck there until midnight takes it's toll.   Not to mention the occasional phone call at 2 or 3am telling him to go to the airport to collect customers and transport them to Bodrum.

He spoke to  the boss.  He made a fuss and stood his ground.  Eventually it was decided that he could drop the Gulluk hotel and someone else, who works mainly at the airport, would deal with it.

Good news on the one hand.  He has a bit more free time.  But on the other hand, he can't justify using the company car to come home.  So on Monday evening he popped home to collect his belongings and move back to the personnel accommodation.  He clearly didn't remember that it was my birthday the following day.

Thanks to Facebook birthday reminders and the vast number of birthday wishes I received from Facebook friends (thankyou so much everyone) I was finally wished Happy Birthday by him around midday, but there was no chance of him getting home.

An airport run last night meant that he could come home for the night.  He also managed to sell his old motorbike to a man in the village, and will buy a newer one as soon as he earns enough money.  He's hoping this will be sooner rather than later, because it then means that he can use the motorbike to go to Bodrum to pick up the company car, and then bike home sometimes when he finishes work.  He also dropped off more supplies of dog food to our feeders while he was here last night.

So he will set off again early this morning and I have no idea when I will next see him.  This is just the way it goes for anyone working in tourism.

Roll on winter!

Have a good weekend everyone.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

Statistics

Now there's a title to put you off reading further!

I've never taken much notice of statistics in everyday life.   People who use them to prove a point can make them say pretty much anything they want.

There are blogging statistics.  Again I never look at them.  Some bloggers are obsessed with them it seems and how many "hits" they have received since they started blogging.

Out of interest...or probably boredom...I looked at my statistics page this week and was amazed to discover the number of hits on certain blog posts.  I realise why this happens, of course.  It's not really anything to do with people necessarily wanting to read your blog.  It's usually connected to the post title.  People search certain words on the internet and if those words are contained in a blog post title, it will show up.  Once they click on the link, most of them will discover that it wasn't what they were looking for, then search elsewhere.

So really the statistics are meaningless.

However, here are my top 5 blog posts according to the number of hits, which you may find interesting if you are also a bit bored at the moment!

In 5th place    MEMORY            2,514 views

In 4th place   LEMON CURD AND SHORTBREAD    3,137 views

In 3rd place    BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP   3,424 views

In 2nd place  GÖZLEME    9,219 views

And not surprisingly this is No.1      THE TURKİSH MALE MENTALİTY   11,713  views

You will now see from these old posts, that my blog hasn't always been about dogs!

Happy weekend everyone.


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Summer Sleep Pattern

Well here we are in the second week of Ramazan.  I don't hear the drummer at all now.  In fact I think he may well have given up his patrol at the bottom of the village.

However, my dogs are barking on and off all night.  The slightest sound sets them off.

 At this time of year the heat causes them to sleep all day, then when it cools down slightly at night they are wide awake.   Their area is outside my bedroom window so I can hear them running about and playing.

We do seem to be getting foxes up on the hill behind the house. My neighbours on either side have chickens.  The construction of their chicken coops leaves much to be desired, so the chickens can get out quite easily.  The neighbours tolerate my dogs barking.  In fact Dursune is very happy about it.  It scares off the foxes and protects the chickens.

Sevke's chickens are frankly a bloody nuisance at the moment.  They are getting into our garden and eating tomato, courgette and pepper plants.  

One evening over a week ago when Mr A finished work while it was still light, he started to construct the bamboo fencing around the top of the garden which would prevent Sevke's chickens from getting in.  Unfortunately it got dark before he finished, so there is now a gap. He hasn't been home much since then so not much chance of the fence being finished any time soon.

The chickens now come and go through the gap.   Tommy barks furiously at them.  I try to shoo them away, sometimes with the hosepipe.  Nothing works. These Turkish chickens are hardy (and stubborn) creatures.

Mr A checked in again with the old man about his two missing dogs.  No news at all, so I'm afraid we have to assume they will not be returning.  He is still feeding the rest of the dogs away from his house, on the way to the teahouse.

The sanayi man continues to feed the dogs there, and he is subsidising the food we provide with leftovers from a sanayi cafe.  He phones Mr A when supplies of food are getting low and we deliver more.  The same for the woman who is feeding Annie plus four or five more dogs...her son phones when they need more supplies of food.

So...my sleep pattern.   My body clock is all over the place.  I'm awake for most of the night.  During the day it's too hot to sleep but I manage a couple of naps while the dogs are quiet.  It's not ideal of course but I seem to be surviving.   Lots of coffee does the trick...not healthy...but it helps!

Timmy, Monty and Fistik sleeping on the bedroom floor. The coolest spot during the day.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

This week's update

A week ago I started a group page on Facebook.  It's hard to believe it was only a week ago because it seems to have taken off and I am enjoying the conversations with the members who have joined.

I have to admit to finding Facebook more satisfying than blogging, simply because of the immediate interaction with people.  Something that doesn't happen so easily with a blog.

In this respect, I don't think I will be blogging quite so much as usual.  I won't be giving up on it entirely though.

There is no further news on the two dogs (belonging to the old man) who went missing recently.  He had promised to ring Mr A if he had any news.  I really don't hold out much hope that they will return.  I feel so sad for him.  Bless his heart...he still continues to feed dogs in the village with the food we provide.

Annie's eye infection has cleared up with the drops we got from the vet for  her "mum" who also continues to feed four more dogs as well as Annie.

The man at the sanayi is also continuing to feed the dogs there.

Food for all these dogs, along with worm tablets, flea treatments and any other vet care is of course thanks to your kind donations.   As you know this project of ours is ongoing, so we are always grateful for anything you can afford, no matter how small.  (You will find the Paypal donation button at the top of this page).

My 10 rescues are all fine.  They are feeling the heat, but have plenty of shade  and the 6 big dogs "bedroom" is inside the old house in our garden so is fairly cool.  The 4 little ones spend some time in the shady parts of the garden and also on my bedroom floor...which is the coolest spot in the house.



If you are on Facebook but have not yet joined my group, please send me a friend request (Linda I. Kaya) and I will then add you. Alternatively, you will find the link to the group Ayak's Animal Welfare on the sidebar of this page.   Look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The month of sleepless nights

It's the start of Ramazan again.  Not my favourite time of year.   I first blogged about Ramazan back in August 2009.  You can read the post HERE

The  Ramazan drummer no longer comes up as far as our house.  I'm relieved about this as it would be absolute bedlam with all 10 dogs barking.   However, it's now 4.45 am and the dogs have been restless for the past half an hour.  There are dogs barking in the distance and roosters crowing.  For some strange reason they start doing this around 2am in Turkey.

There are lights on in houses all over the village as people force themselves to eat a large breakfast before sunrise when the fasting begins.

And talking of eating and fasting, the four little dogs haven't eaten much this past week.  The heat seems to cause them to lose their appetite.  Instead of feeding them twice a day as usual, I've put down a large dish of dog biscuits so they can help themselves during the day.  The six big dogs just eat everything I give them.   I've noticed them getting fat.  This started when I was away in the UK in April.  Mr A always overfeeds them when I'm not here.  I'm trying to cut down on their food and hoping to achieve feeding them just once a day.  Megan in particular has arthritis so extra weight isn't good for her.

There is no news on the old man's two missing dogs.  Mr A would have heard from him if there had been, and the son doesn't appear to be around so no opportunity for Mr A to have a quiet word.  If I hear anything I will of course let you know.

This week Melek and Chas had their booster vaccines, and all 10 were wormed.  I also had to replace three Paraband collars as the previous ones (a different make) had broken and I managed to retrieve them before they were chewed up.

Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable afternoon with my friend Fleur who had driven over from Kusadasi to meet me in Milas.  As usual when in good company the time flew by.  We don't see each other often because of the distance but we plan to meet up half way in the next week or two at a restaurant overlooking Bafa Lake, where she tells me they serve an excellent breakfast.

Fleur brought some treats for the dogs and present for me...thankyou very much Fleur xx

There are storms due tomorrow and a drop in temperature, which I am looking forward to.  It will be a pleasant relief for a day or two.

Ramazan mübarek olsun

(You can now follow me on Facebook (click this text)

Monday, 15 June 2015

The old man who feeds dogs

I've mentioned this old man many times in my updates.  Along with Annie's mum, and the sanayi man, we deliver sacks of food to this old man on the outskirts of the village.

He has two dogs of his own, and feeds 7 or 8 more who turn up each day.  During the season whilst Mr A is working, this man also feeds any dogs who turn up at the teahouse in the evening.

Mr A came home reasonably early on Saturday and we took delivery of some bamboo fencing, which is made by a man in Koru.   We have decided to fix this around the perimeter of the garden.   It will solve several problems.   Sevke's chickens are getting into our garden, eating tomato and courgette plants and making our dogs bark.  Tommy in particular is getting very stressed by them.

When the sheep pass the house each day they jump on the wall, eat the grapevines and make the dogs bark furiously.  They pass the back of the house where the six dogs jump and bark at them.  I believe this is how Blondie injured her leg. She jumps quite high and probably scraped it on the wall.  It's taking a long time to heal, but getting better.

All these problems will be solved with the bamboo fencing.  Mr A will fix it gradually, probably late in the evening when he finishes work.  In fact he was up at 5.30am today and is busy working on it now.

So...back to the old man.   Mr A received a call from him last night and he sounded very distressed, so Mr A went down to see him, with another bag of dogfood.   The man was in tears.  His two dogs have disappeared.   Mr A wondered if this was the start of another spate of poisonings but it seems not.

It would appear that the old man's son isn't happy about the dogs turning up to be fed each day.  Although the son won't admit it, the old man suspects that he (the son) has taken the dogs somewhere.  Mr A was angry and upset for the old man but has to be careful about how he deals with this.   There is no point in him accusing or getting angry with the son, because this will no doubt make matters worse.  He thinks it best to have a quiet "friendly" word with the son to ask him if he knows what has happened to the dogs.

In the meantime, the old man is fearful for the dogs that turn up each day so has decided to encourage them to follow him to the teahouse, where he will continue to feed them along with the other stragglers that appear from time to time.

I know Mr A's way of dealing with this is best, but I would like to get my hands on this man who has removed his father's dogs and caused him so much upset.   Poor old guy.  Life is just so bloody unfair.

Edited to add that I was mistaken.  He had three dogs of his own, not two, although two are missing.  This is the dog he still has.  Photo taken last night by Mr A

Friday, 12 June 2015

Hospital, Vet, Hairdressers, Shopping and Dog beds

It's been a busy couple of days.  On Wednesday David collected me and we drove over to Bodrum for some shopping ...at Koctaş (similar to B & Q) for David and to check out pet shops to find dog beds for my big dogs.  I have been making do with makeshift beds for a while and recently I swopped one of the kennels with David for a large plastic bed.  David's recent addition to his dog family, Molly, loves the kennel, and my dogs love the plastic bed.

I had searched online for the beds and the cheapest I could find was with Hepsiburada for around 100 lira each.  I also checked out the prices of their dogfood and attempted to place an order.   I decided that I would just have to buy one or possibly two beds at a time because of the cost.  I followed the ordering procedure right through to the point of payment, only to find that they don't accept debit cards (I don't have a credit card).  So back to square one.

After checking out other pet shops we found one just off the Bitez roundabout and saw the exact same beds I'd seen on Hepsiburada and the prıce was 60 lira each.  Quite a difference.  They only had 4 of the size I wanted, and a larger one for 75 lira.  I decided to buy all five and the man let me have the larger one for 60 lira too.  He also has 15kg sacks of dog food, several different varieties that I have used before, and sells them at 45 lira.  So I stocked up.  I have his card and I can phone him whenever I need more stocks, let him know which kind, and he will make sure he gets them for me.  Mr A is in this area every day, so he will be able to collect for me.

On our way back we found a tiny white fluffy pup in the road.  We stopped and picked her up and asked around to see if she belonged to anyone or whether there was a mum or siblings.  Nothing.  We couldn't leave her there so David has taken her home.  As he already has 3 dogs he has yet to decide whether he will find a home for her.  In the meantime, I gave David worm tablets for her and a spare small bed, and we will take her to our vet to get her checked out and vaccinated.





Yesterday I had an appointment at the hospital in Milas for some tests.  Mr A took some time off, a rare occurrence, and it was nice not to have to struggle through the hospital system on my own.   We had to wait two hours for results, so we went for a coffee, and then I managed to get a much needed haircut.  I don't know if I mentioned that my current hairdresser lives in our village.  The last time I used him he kindly came to the house on a Monday (his day off) which is very convenient.   I was pleased with the trim yesterday and he also sold me some serum and hairspray at cost, which worked out cheaper than inferior products in the shops.

Next a visit to our vet to pick up some more Paraband collars.  I had been using a few of a similar product suggested by the vet called Kiltik, but these work loose and come off very easily and get lost or chewed...so I wouldn't recommend them.

Finally a quick scoot around the supermarket for shopping and then to collect the results of the tests from the hospital which at the moment are fine.

We managed all this in four hours.   After returning home, Mr A relaxed for an hour or so, then it was back to work for him.

A productive and satisfying couple of days.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Dogs and Life

Well the two go together really.  Dogs are a big part of my life and generally speaking everything else has to fit in around them.  They are a commitment for life.  Something which people don't always consider when they adopt one.  Just lately I have seen so many horrifying reports of cruelty to dogs and other animals on Facebook, I  am left wondering what is happening to the human race.

My 10 rescues have the best life I can give them.  They are all neutered to prevent any more unwanted pups.  They are all vaccinated and boosters administered when due.  They are wormed regularly and treated for fleas and ticks, and any other ailments are dealt with.

The dogs on the streets aren't so lucky though, unless people stop being self-centred and cruel.  It doesn't take much effort to feed a dog or to put out a bowl of water...so necessary now that summer is upon us.  The satisfaction and love you receive from a dog by just being kind is priceless.

My dogs are all fine.   The sanayi dogs are being fed by the kind man there, who having run out of food before we had chance to deliver more, went and bought some with his own money.  We will of course reimburse him...it's the least we can do.

We called into see Annie and her mum briefly last night.  Annie's mum tells us she is spoilt.  The family share their food with her so often she turns her nose up at the dried dog food!   She pointed out that Annie had a problem with one of her eyes.  A bit of conjunctivis it seems, so we will get more eye drops today to sort this out.

The old man on the edge of the village continues to feed 10 dogs who turn up at his house each day and also the stragglers that appear at the teahouse in the evening.

A couple of weeks ago on one of the lanes leading down to the village we spotted 6 or 7 pups in the road.   They weren't newborn and seemed quite healthy.  We couldn't see mum around but our neighbour said that she had seen the mum with them the previous day and that she thought they were being fed by people in a house close to where we saw the pups.

I've been down there several times since and didn't see any of them.  I would of course have loved to taken them home but we just have absolutely no more room for anymore dogs.   On one of Mr A's brief visits home he asked someone near where the pups were originally if they were OK.  Apparently people were leaving out scraps for them.   It's not perfect of course but slowly the mentality is changing in this village.  We are setting an example and people realise that they don't  need to be afraid of these dogs and there is no reason to harm them.  Naturally we will never convince everyone so we do have to be vigilant.

Last night on our way home after a busy day (more of that later) Mr A spotted an old man who lives near where the pups were seen and stopped to ask him if he knew of their whereabouts.  It would seem that the mum had disappeared, but the good news is that several people had adopted one pup each.  Apparently there were four or five according to this man, so I guess the others may have died.  Sadly  this happens so often.

We were delighted to learn that these pups now have homes.  Unfortunately the man doesn't know who took them or where they live but he is going to ask around.  If he can find out we have told him to tell the new pup owners to come to our house and I will provide them with food, worm and flea treatments, and give them some advice on how to care for them.  We are still hoping to find the mother of these pups and if so we will get her spayed.  I have no idea what she looks like so will have to rely on others to let me know.

Mr A continues with his busy schedule but having had discussions with his boss he is hopeful that things will change and that the schedule for each day will work better if he starts out each morning at the far end of the peninsular, ie Yalikavak, works his way through Bodrum and out as far as Gulluk, then he could actually get home to sleep each night.  It would seem that most of his customers will be in the Gulluk hotel so he could spend the last couple of hours of his busy day there, before coming home.  There will be a trial of this new schedule starting tomorrow.  Let's see if it works.

Yesterday I intended to meet up with David to go to Bodrum, to look for plastic dog beds, to replace some makeshift beds I am using which are getting chewed!

I managed to get a lift into Bodrum with Mr A and he dropped me at the Oasis shopping centre where I arranged to meet David.  After 10 minutes David rang to say his car wouldn't start, so it looked like I would have to get  three buses home.   I rang Mr A who was still in Bodrum and he collected me.  We decided that I would spend the day with him going from hotel to hotel to do the welcome meetings.

It was an interesting day, but not relaxing.  It was very hectic even though Mr A tells me it wasn't a busy day for him.  If this wasn't busy then I really don't know how he copes...or manages to keep a smile on his face when talking to customers.  Even though we are allowed to eat in any of the hotels he is responsible for, there wasn't actually time.  We only just managed a coffee and a couple of biscuits whilst doing one of the welcome meetings.   As soon as one hotel is ticked off the list, it's into the car and off to the next one.

His last hotel was in Yalikavak and having booked two customers for a Turkish Bath, the transport phoned to say they couldn't collect them, so we put them in Mr A's car to take them.  On the way Mr A dropped me at Kipa to do some shopping, then delivered the customers, on to his office to deal with bookings and paperwork, and then to fill up with petrol.  He collected me from the supermarket and we set off home.  Then, as mentioned above, stopped to see Annie, and the man about the pups.

I was so shattered when we got home, I fed the dogs and went to bed.  Mr A?  He spent an hour in the garden tying up tomato plants and clearing some weeds.  At around 9pm he received a phone call to say some customers had problems at one of the hotels, so he changed his clothes and off he went to sort them out.  Finally back home at midnight and off to bed.

This morning the Gulluk hotel was first on his list and we realised that there was just time for me to go with him and have breakfast there, do the welcome meeting, drop me back home, and then for him to set off for the rest of his appointments.

We booked well on the excusions yesterday by working together.  British people like to talk to other British people, so it helped with me being there.  Mr A likes me working with him but knows I couldn't possibly do this too often!   But I'll try to help a couple of times a week.  Frankly, it's the only time we manage to be together during the summer, so it's worth the effort.